KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11, 2015:

The grandson of a former Deputy Prime Minister has leapt to Tawfik Ismail’s defence, after Perkasa demanded the latter apologise for proposing the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) be abolished.

Tariq Ismail Mustafa, in a statement, said by asking his uncle — who is Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman eldest’s son — to simply apologise or face dire consequences is wrong.

Tawfik, he explained, did not question the sanctity of Islam.

“He merely questioned a man-made structure within which there have been reports about misinterpretations of the law and also abuse of power,” he said, stressing it was not his intention to start an argument or a war with Perkasa.

Tariq added that many non-Muslims already feel that an institution like Jakim was capable of one day overstepping its boundaries and dictating to them, which was something forbidden by law and which they should not do.

He said it was with these thoughts in mind that he appealed to the Malay right wing group to look at the bigger picture to restore the sanctity of Islam in the way it is implemented in Malaysia.

“While Islam is very clear in its meaning and purpose, institutions are merely man-made. It is perfectly reasonable to call for a defective institution to be abolished.”

Perkasa had yesterday slammed Tawfik’s call as “rude and uncivilised” as well as seditious and an insult to the Federal Constitution.

Its Islamic Affairs Bureau chief Amini Amir Abdullah said Tawfik should say sorry to Jakim and Muslims, to avoid any negative implications.

A couple of days ago, it was reported in The Malaysian Insider that Tawfik proposed for Jakim to be abolished as the department seemed to serve no other purpose than to intervene in the personal lives of Malaysians.

Jakim, he added, was an advisory body to the government, but “constitutionally had no role”.

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